Career & Major Exploration
Choosing a career is a key decision and we want to help you uncover your calling and gain a sense of satisfaction through your work. Career exploration is a great time to enjoy your career development process!
Learning about yourself (self-discovery), gathering information (research) about potential occupations of interest, reflecting (deciding), and developing your long-term goal (planning) can assist in shaping your career path, discovering your vocational calling, and choosing a career that can lead to years of fulfillment, satisfaction and a sense of purpose.
Research shows that people are most professionally satisfied when they learn about themselves and choose jobs that align with their preferences and motivations. Define your Ideal Job and assess your interests, skills, strengths, values, motivations, and personality to discover more about who you are and the career path that best suits you:
- Interests | uncover your interests & potential occupations, a blueprint for exploration with the Strong Interest Inventory (SII) (email@example.com for appointment).
- Skills | determine your transferable skills or learn what careers match your skills.
- Strengths | find what you naturally do best & develop your talents into strengths through the CliftonStrengths Assessment (firstname.lastname@example.org for appointment).
- Values | discover what is most important to you & what influences your career goals.
- Emotional Intelligence | discover how to achieve effective communication, collaboration, leadership & interpersonal relationships with the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-I 2.0) (email@example.com for appointment).
- Personality | learn about your personality type (utilizes MBTI framework).
After identifying your career preferences, research occupations of interest (e.g., responsibilities, tasks, skills, education level, salary, and career paths). Utilize what you learned in “self-discovery” to connect to career options that fit you and your needs.
Explore majors and careers through conversations with professionals to gather specific information about a job, clarify your career goals, narrow your options, and build lasting networking relationships.
- What Can I Do With This Major? | research careers based on your major.
- FPU Majors/Minors | learn about different degree programs & areas of study.
- My Next Move | find your career interests, matching occupations & career specifics.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook | discover accurate/updated info on specific occupations.
- Career Videos | informational videos organized into career clusters.
- Professional Associations | list of associations representing various professions.
- Explore Industries | find resources & career path details for various fields.
Conduct an Informational Interview
Informational interviewing is a valuable exploration tool to gather information about an occupation/industry by talking with people working in the field. You can initiate this professional conversation to assist in your career decision making:
- Informational Interview Guide | plan & conduct your informational interview.
- Jobstr | ask professionals questions about their jobs.
Try Job Shadowing
Job shadowing is when a student partners with a professional to “shadow” them at work to learn about a typical day on the job (duties, daily tasks, customers/coworkers interaction, etc.) and see firsthand how skills relate to the workplace:
- Job Shadowing Guide | prepare & plan for a job shadowing opportunity.
- Job Shadow | learn about professionals & their jobs by reading interviews.
Connect with Professionals
FPU Alumni Network
The Fresno Pacific University Network is a group of FPU alumni and friends who have agreed to be available to FPU students to talk with them about their careers. To access this network or find out more, please call or stop by our office.
Networking at Events
Attend networking events (job fairs, community events, conferences, trainings, chamber of commerce mixers, etc.) to meet like-minded individuals, hear about the latest trends, and exchange ideas. Leave with new connections to develop on-going professional relations, and gain fresh inspiration and motivation. See our Networking Guide.
Networking on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has resources to connect with career experts who provide career guidance. Join Mentorship Groups by searching keywords like “mentorship,” “community,” or “advice.” Connect with the FPU Alumni Association. Find Relevant Hashtags like #OfferHelp, #Careeradvice, or #Mentorship. Connect with potential mentors/mentees and include a personalized message sharing what you admire about them.
- LinkedIn Guide | assists with creating & leveraging your profile.
- LinkedIn Video | learn how to utilize LinkedIn for exploration & networking.
Remember that career development is a process; you have many options. Ready to change or add a major or minor? Contact your FPU mentor, academic advisor or program director for guidance. Use resources to aid in your decision making:
- Have you narrowed down your major or career options?
- Are you ready to choose a major or career?
- Do you need to continue exploring and researching?
Remember that career development is a process; you have many options. Use resources to aid in your decision making:
- Ideal Job | reflect on your career values to define your career vision.
- Myths About Majors | clarify some misconceptions about choosing a major.
Once you have engaged in self-discovery, researched careers and reflected on your decision, it's time to develop a career plan (road map) to set, track, and evaluate your long-term career goal. Include actions steps toward your short-term goals, education/training, and experience, as well as job search strategies and documents, potential employers, and interview preparation.
- Sample Career Plan | map out your career plan with this example.
- SMART Goals | learn to set actionable goals (SMART Goals Worksheet).
- Career Self Assessment | develop your career competencies for workplace success.
“Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take."